Probe launched into Albert Luthuli Hospital's staff 'tremendously high' Covid-19 infection rate
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said after Thursday’s protest by the hospital’s health workers, they realised the infection numbers at the hospital were “tremendously high and they were going up” and therefore launched an investigation.
Simelane-Zulu said there would also be an occupational health and safety officer who would walk around facilities to ensure that management was following proper protocols and ensuring that personal protective equipment (PPE) was correctly handed out to workers. The officer would ensure that workers wore the PPE correctly and adhered to protocols of engaging with each other.
PPE was one of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union’s (Nehawu) complaints in their memorandum of demands, stating that the theatre and trauma units must be given the same PPE as those working in Covid-19 wards.
“The guidelines of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases are specific that when you are in this risk area, this is what you must be given. But when you go higher and you are now exposed, this is what you are given. And they have been given that kind of PPE, however, they believe it is not sufficient,” said Simelane-Zulu.
The MEC said there was no PPE shortage at IALCH.
However, during the protest Nehawu regional secretary Prince Mthalane said hospital management would say they could take the union to the stockroom to see for themselves that they had enough PPEs, but workers would say they were not being provided with PPEs.
“They are always saying we have adequate PPEs, but when we go on the ground to the nurses and to other workers you will find that they are complaining about PPEs, because they have put unnecessary restrictions on the provision of PPEs. As a result sometimes even if they are there, they are not being given to the right people for them to use,” said Mthalane.